Disinformation and Cultural Practice in Southeast Asia

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    Ross Tapsell evaluates the ‘cultural practice of disinformation’ in Southeast Asia, arguing that in order to combat this issue, academics must take into consideration ‘what kinds of disinformation spread widely, and why?’ This question is addressed in three parts: how Southeast Asians access the internet, the cultural background in which digitalisation has entered the public sphere, and the political context in which disinformation spreads. Tapsell suggests that academics tend to focus on studying Twitter as data is easier to obtain from the platform. However, this fails to take into consideration that ‘millions of Southeast Asians’ are using the internet for Facebook and WhatsApp instead of Twitter. A significant amount of Southeast Asians are obtaining their news from social media, and are not fact checking the news that they are consuming. Tapsell also emphasises that many Southeast Asian citizens distrust official news sources due to their experiences of political manipulation and press corruption, and instead seek alternative sources of information from what they consider more ‘trustworthy’ sources on social media. Tapsell concludes by encouraging academics to engage in ‘big data’ scholarship on disinformation to analyse how digital information is changing Southeast Asian societies, and come up with solutions to the complex problems disinformation poses.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationDisinformation and Fake News
    Editors Jayakumar, Shashi, Ang, Benjamin, Anwar, Nur Diyanah
    Place of PublicationSingapore
    PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
    ISBN (Print)978-981-15-5875-7
    Publication statusPublished - 2021


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